Home Prep Tips

Your home can be sold more quickly and at a better price by implementing some of the following tips for the best ways to show your home to potential buyers. Put yourself in the place of the buyer and assess your own property as though you were looking to purchase it yourself. What improvements could be made to enhance its attractiveness?

1. Show it off from the street. A well kept, neatly landscaped property will help act as “bait” to lure the potential buyer in to see your home. Trash containers should be out of view and the lawn freshly trimmed. Fertilizing a few weeks prior to listing will help your lawn look lush and green. Woodwork should be free of chipped or cracking paint. If necessary, repaint.

2. The entry is important. The front door should be clean or freshly painted. Brass knobs should be polished with brass cleaner. You might consider placing a planter of fresh flowers on your front porch.

3. Minor repairs can help tremendously. Repair all loose doorknobs and cupboard hinges, dripping faucets, stained sinks, loose or missing caulking, sticking doors and window, and damaged or missing window screens.

4. Redecorate for a quick sale. Highlight the best features of the property. Buyers need to see space to mentally move in. Be aware, closets and storage will be inspected. New carpet and paint make the difference! Faded wallpaper, worn woodwork, walls, doors and screens with tears and holes, and worn or spotted carpets are items for redecoration.

5. Clutter is unattractive. Neatness makes a room look larger. Workout rooms, sewing rooms, laundry rooms, home offices, basements and attics should be as organized and clutter free as the main living space of your home.

6. Let the sun shine in. Leave the drapes, curtains and mini-blinds open to allow plenty of light into your home. An open, airy feeling generates comfort and welcomes the potential buyer into your home. Turn on all the lights when showing your home at night. Use brighter bulbs if necessary.

7. Create the mood. Turn on low playing music and have a fire burning in the fireplace, add table settings and flowers to invite a “move-in” mood.

8. Closet space is a huge advantage. Buyers always want lots of closet and storage space. Be sure yours are uncluttered. Neat, well organized closets appear larger. Larger closets help sell homes. Get rid of the things you are not using and make room for the buyer to visualize his things in your closet.

9. Clear the deck. Clear all unnecessary objects from the bathroom and kitchen and other tabletops. Remove all messages, pictures and magnets from the refrigerator. Remove valuables, jewelry, firearms, coins, and small art. Give instructions for security systems if not deactivated.

10. Bathrooms should sparkle. Remove stains from sinks, toilets and bathtubs, including hard water spots on shower enclosure doors. If drains run slowly, unclog them. Hang fresh towels on towel racks.

11. Kitchens should be clean. It is the most important room in the house. Make it bright and attractive. The emptier it is, the larger it will appear. Avoid dirty dishes in the sink or on counters. Counter top appliances should be kept in cupboards. Clean the ventilating hood over the stove. Replace or repair worn out flooring.

12. Avoid having too many people present. When possible, arrange to leave the immediate premises during showings, thus allowing the salesperson and buyers to inspect the property and discuss features in a free atmosphere. The potential buyer may feel uncomfortable or pressured and hurry through the house. Don’t force conversation with the buyer. If they have questions, they’ll ask you.

13. Keep pets out of the way. A dog is man’s best friend, but not now. Contain family pets (if possible, temporarily remove them) and make sure the agent knows where they are.

14. Never apologize for the appearance of your home. After all, you live there.

15. Maintain a “model-quality” appearance.